Robot-assisted therapy for arm recovery for stroke patients: state of the art and clinical implication

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: Robot-assisted therapy is an emerging approach that performs highly repetitive, intensive, task oriented and quantifiable neuro-rehabilitation. In the last decades, it has been increasingly used in a wide range of neurological central nervous system conditions implying an upper limb paresis. Results from the studies are controversial, for the many types of robots and their features often not accompanied by specific clinical indications about the target functions, fundamental for the individualized neurorehabilitation program. Areas covered: This article reviews the state of the art and perspectives of robotics in post-stroke rehabilitation for upper limb recovery. Classifications and features of robots have been reported in accordance with technological and clinical contents, together with the definition of determinants specific for each patient, that could modify the efficacy of robotic treatments. The possibility of combining robotic intervention with other therapies has also been discussed. Expert commentary: The recent wide diffusion of robots in neurorehabilitation has generated a confusion due to the commingling of technical and clinical aspects not previously clarified. Our critical review provides a possible hypothesis about how to match a robot with subject’s upper limb functional abilities, but also highlights the need of organizing a clinical consensus conference about the robotic therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-233
Number of pages11
JournalExpert Review of Medical Devices
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 3 2020


  • arm recovery
  • cognitive and motor rehabilitation
  • intensive training
  • neurorehabilitation
  • Robotic rehabilitation
  • robotics
  • stroke
  • task-oriented training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Biomedical Engineering


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